By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Williams Racing confirmed Wednesday that former Red Bull talent Alex Albon will be paired with Nicholas Latifi next season. Completing the latest puzzle on what’s been an extremely busy news week in the sport.
Albon will replace the departing George Russell, who’ll join Mercedes next season after the announcement was made Tuesday.
Perhaps more notable about Albon’s signing is returning on the 20-car F1 grid after being left without a ride this season when Red Bull Racing opted to go for Sergio Perez.
The consolation prizes for Albon was becoming Red Bull Racing’s reserved driver and competing in DTM for AlphaTauri AF Corse. After 10 of 16 rounds, Albon currently sits sixth in the DTM standings with a win in the second Nurburgring race to his name.
Now, the future is clear for the Thai-British competitor who’s ready to redeem himself in motorsports’ premiere discipline.
“I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula One race seat in 2022. When you take a year out of F1 it’s never certain you will make a return so I’m extremely thankful to Red Bull and Williams for believing in me and helping me on my journey back to the grid,” said Albon.
“It’s also been great to see all the progress Williams have been making as a team this year and I look forward to helping them continue that journey in 2022. My focus now returns to my Test & Reserve Driver role at Red Bull and helping the team fight for this year’s world championship.”
Team CEO Jost Captio is delighted of getting Albon, who finished seventh in last season’s World Drivers’ Championship. But also keeping Latifi, who’ll enter his third F1 season in ’22.
“We are extremely excited by our new line-up, with both drivers bringing a great blend of youth and experience that will not only be a great fit for the team but also help us take the next step in our journey,” said Capito.
“Alex is one of the most exciting young talents in motorsport, yet comes with a large amount of F1 experience from his time at Red Bull. His multiple podium finishes highlight his speed as a driver, and we know he will immediately feel at home with the team at Grove.
“Nicholas meanwhile has consistently impressed us over the past three years with his hard work, diligence, and positive attitude. He has continued to develop throughout his time at Williams and has grown into an impressive F1 driver, as seen by his points scoring finishes this season.”
“We are now looking forward to continuing to build on our positive momentum as a team and finishing this season as strongly as possible, before turning our attentions to 2022.”
Williams are currently eighth in the World Constructors’ Championship with just nine rounds remaining. They’ve scored all 20 of their points in two out of the last three grand prix races.